Welcome to my first episode review for The Bad Batch. My reviews will follow my usual format: an overview of the plot (so be aware, there will be spoilers!), my review of the show, then a few “Moments in canon” – references that link to other media and the galaxy as a whole. Today, we’ll be looking at episode 6: “Decommissioned”.
The Bad Batch are in Cid’s bar, where Echo is teaching Omega to use the crossbow she acquired from the Zygerrians, though she is having limited success as she is being distracted by the bar’s patrons. Cid comes in and convinces the group to do another job for her: travel to Corellia and steal a tactical droid from a factory that is decommissioning Separatist battle droids.
Arriving on Corellia, the group avoid detection and make it into the factory. Wrecker is sent to an elevated position to provide cover for Hunter, Echo and Tech as they move deeper into the factory, while Omega is told to hold her position and lookout for the tactical droid.
“With clones now serving the Empire, knowing how to defeat them just went up in value.”
Echo manages to connect into a terminal and finds out that only 1 of the tactical droids remains, as the rest have already been destroyed. Omega soon spots the droid and reports that the head is separated from the body, but looks in good condition. Before any of the Bad Batch can reach the conveyor belt that the droid is on, it’s head is stolen by someone in a worker’s uniform. Omega moves to intercept, but she is stopped in her tracks by a second person in worker’s uniform, who is clearly working with the thief. Omega draws her bow and the accomplice reveals her face while attempting to convince Omega not to fire. The girl is revealed to be Rafa Martez, and the thief her sister Trace, who is stopped by Hunter.
Rafa attempts to wrestle the crossbow from Omega, which leads to to being accidentally fired, alerting the workers to an incursion. The workers lock down the facility and call in police droids. The Martez sisters use the distraction as a chance to make their escape, with Omega and Hunter both in pursuit. Trace throws the droid head to Rafa, but she drops into onto one of the lower conveyor belts after bumping into a police droid and Omega just beats Trace to the head.
To stop the lockdown, Echo is forced to turn off the systems, leaving Wrecker to swing across a nearby platform to switch everything back on at the main control panel. Wrecker successfully reaches the platform, but bangs his head again on landing; he successfully switches the power back on before passing out while reciting that “Good soldiers follow orders.”
“Hunter, I’m stuck on the conveyor. I need help.”
As Trace chases Omega down one of the conveyor belts, Omega trips over droid remains, dropping the helmet, which Trace runs off with. Omega tries to give chase, but realises that her foot is now stuck under the droid parts. Trace is about to escape from the facility, but realises that Omega is stuck and that the conveyor belt is taking her to where the metal is melted down. Omega also realises her danger and comms Hunter for help. Hunter and Rafa are pinned down by a group of police droids, but now needing to act quickly, he brings down the platforms they are on by destroying the support pillars, before going after Omega. Due to more droids shooting at him and Rafa, Hunter is unable to reach Omega before she falls off the end of the conveyor belt, but luckily she lands on a pile of droid parts that have not yet sunk into the molten metal. Trace reaches Omega first and uses a battle droid leg to stop her sinking into the molten metal, and Hunter arrives to help pull her to safety, thanking Trace for her help.
Hunter convinces the sisters that they all need to work together, and they regroup with Tech and Echo, while Wrecker comes back to consciousness and joins back with the group. Trace comes up with a diversion: reactivating the tactical droid’s head and using it to reactivate all the other battle droids in the factory to fight the police droids. Tech boosts the head’s signal and accesses its memory to amend its programming to order the clones to not be attacked, and all the battle droids come back online, ignoring the Bad Batch and Martez sisters and focusing on the police droids.
The group use the distraction to escape, as Trace calls in their droid R7 to pick them all up, but during the escape more police droids appear. The tactical droid’s head is destroyed and Trace is about to be shot, but Omega saves her by shooting the police droids with her crossbow, successfully managing to ignore any distractions. The Martez sisters’ ship The Silver Angel arrives and everyone successfully escapes the facility.
To be honest, things were clearer when we were just soldiers.”
Safely away from danger, Rafa berates Hunter for not knowing who the information that the tactical droid carried would be given to, while Trcae explains their contact needed the information to fight back against the Empire. The Martez sisters drop the Bad Batch off where they had left the Havoc Marauder and as they say their farewells, Omega invites them to visit the group on Ord Mantell. Hunter gives Rafa a data rod, which Tech had copied the tactical droid’s intel onto before the head’s destruction, saying that they will use it for the right reasons. Rafa is surprised by Hunter’s decision, and he laments that things were clearer when they were just soldiers, to which Rafa states that in the end, everyone chooses a side. The Bad Batch and the Martez sisters part ways, each leaving Corellia in different directions.
As the Silver Angel leaves, Rafa has R7 patch through their contact. Rafa tells him that not only did they get the data, but found a squad of rogue clones and know where to find them, suggesting that they may be of interest to the contact.
Let me start by saying that this was a truly great episode and my personal favourite since the premiere, which is saying something when you consider that episode had the advantage of being triple the length of an average episode.
Now I’ve spoken a few times about this show relying on people and places we are familiar with already, so when I heard that we were off to Corellia in this episode, I was very worried that we were about to be introduced to a very young Han Solo. While that thankfully proved to not be the case, we did come across other familiar scoundrels in the Martez sisters, something that made me audibly yelp as I was so caught out! Now I admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the sisters’ arc in The Clone Wars, but I hope that people didn’t automatically write off this episode as soon as they appeared, as the sisters had clearly grown from their adventure with Ahsoka, being much more able to look after themselves and work together, while Rafa berates Hunter for not knowing/caring who the droid’s intel would go to—which is exactly what she did previously with the demolition droids! It was a great way to bring the pair back in a way that allowed them to be guest characters, but really advance the plot, which it appears that they did with their contact getting the tactical droid intel and information about the Bad Batch.
But who was the sisters’ contact? Well, I think all the clues were there for us to put it together in the episode, while the trailers before the series even showed the likeliest candidate, but in case you haven’t guessed, I will give you a potential spoiler warning. Yes it’s true that the sisters could have come into contact with anyone, but we know it is someone who is rebelling against the Empire, which immediately narrows it down. But what really des it is the appearance of R7 alongside the sisters. Does his name sound familiar? He was Ahsoka’s droid co-pilot during the Clone Wars, who was destroyed by clones is the season 7 finale, but was shown at the end of the episode as having been collected by Ahsoka and Rex, which means that the pair likely met back up with the sisters following Order 66. However, in the final scene, Rafa refers tot he contact as “him”, which rules out Ahsoka. While it could potentially be that Ahsoka has put Bail Organa in contact with the sisters, it seems a little too soon for that considering Ahsoka and Bail do not begin working together until a year after Order 66 according to the novel Ahsoka, so I fully expect this contact to be Rex, who was shown to appear in the show during one of the trailers. So how long will we be waiting? Probably not long, as it’s hard to imagine that he will hang around if he hears that some of his brothers appear to be free of the Empire’s influence, and especially as if the sisters describe the group at all, it will be immediately clear that they came across the Bad Batch. And as he knows where to find them, I expect to see him return next week, or certainly within the next couple of episodes.
And it looks like his appearance will be not a moment too soon, as what many of us have began to fear over the last month proved right: Wrecker’s continued knocks to the head are causing his inhibitor chip to activate and impact him. I can’t help but feel that Wrecker’s chip kicking in will tie in with Rex’s appearance but as Wrecker has been continually made to be the comic relief and show his heart, I can see it being quickly remedied due to Rex’s experience with the chips, allowing them to save Wrecker and begin thinking about finding a way to save Crosshair—who is still repeatedly getting mentions among the group and would surely be welcomed back if they could deal with his chip.
A few final thoughts on the episode:
- Kevin Kiner and his sons are killing it with the score in this series, with familiar music from the movies being used naturally within the score, while I loved the more melodic version of the Bad Batch’s theme as Omega successfully defended Trace with her bow
- It was great to see the consistency in Wrecker’s fear of heights, something established during their arc in The Clone Wars but returning in this episode
- Maybe it was due to me still being a little sleepy when watching this at 8am, but I absolutely loved the cheesiness of Echo’s name being used as a pun. It was dumb, but in a fun way that my awful humour couldn’t help but appreciate
- I’d never really thought about how tactical droids were improving in their way of defeating the clones as the war went on due to us generally focusing on best of the best in the Republic army, who would find ways to win against the odds, and I like how the idea of using this intel is a great way to get an advantage against the Empire, and likely yet another reason the clones will be phased out
Moments in Canon
- R7-A7 was Ahsoka Tano’s droid co-pilot during the Clone Wars
- The trick Tech uses to get to Corellia unnoticed—attaching to a much larger ship—is replicated by Hondo Ohnaka and Hera Syndulla to get onto Lothal in season 4 of Rebels
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. Good soldiers follow orders….